On this page we’ll take a look at the best mid size conventional generator for most people. Mid size is anything between 2 kW and 5 kW by our definition. 3000 Watt, 3500 Watt and 4000 Watt generators are the most popular of all the generators on the market. They offer good amount of power at an affordable price.
Do you want enough power for your entire house?
Do you want a portable generator you can chuck in the back of your truck and take camping?
If you answered yes to either of those you’re in the wrong place.
A mid-size generator sits between highly-portable and huge-power.
You know how at the movies you tend to buy the mid-size popcorn? The small is not enough and you doubt you can finish the large… Yeah, the mid-size generator hits the sweet spot too. It’s the most popular size of generator on the market for this reason.
How do people use this size?
In February I went to this Greek Festival at the local park. There was tons of food trucks serving Greek food and beer. And there was live music and that sort of thing.
Because I love generators I was walking around the back side of all the food stalls. Why? Because I was checking out the generators they were using to power their fridges.
Some had Yamaha inverter generators connected in parallel (2x 2,400 watts). Some had extension cords connected to larger generators that were located further from crowd. But most had clearly rented portable generators from the local generator hire company. All these rentals were 4,400 surge watts and 3,500 running watts – enough to power a few fans and their fridge and freezer for the day.
What Else Can a Mid Size Portable Generator Power?
Let’s take a 3,500 watt portable generator and see what combination of electrical devices can be powered from it at once:
Combo 1: Washing machine, toaster, dishwasher, TV, fan and light
Combo 2: Oven, coffee maker, fan and light
Combo 3: Small air conditioner, blow dryer, TV, desktop computer and wifi modem
All those combos add up to around 3,500 running watts. Most portable generators in this range will power half that load for 7-9 hours on one tank of gas.
What will you need to power? Here’s some people using their mid-size generators in the wild:
Mid-Size Generators In The Wild
Best 3000 Watt Conventional Portable Generator
It will power your fridge and air conditioner for 11 hours on one tank and has 2 normal 3 prong AC outlets, a larger 120/240V, 30 Amp twist lock outlet and a DC outlet for battery charging.
If you want to stay comfortable with some air conditioning or a heater and also keep your fridge/freezer food from going bad during the next power outage this is a great affordable option.
Best 3500 Watt Conventional Portable Generator
The best 3500 running watts portable conventional style generator is this one from DuroMax because it offers great price for the power and is highly rated across all reviews and ratings.
It is less than $400, can keep an air conditioner, TV, desktop computer and lights on for 8 hours off one tank of fuel. And it also has an electric start so you be inside in control with your remote.
If you want the best selling and top rated portable generator on the market this is it. With this genset next time the power goes out you won’t even care.
Another great 3500 running watts option comes from this California company – Champion Power Equipment.
It is about $100 more than the DuroMax and similar quality, and that is why it takes a close second instead of first place honors.
Champion has sold millions of portable generators since its 2003 founding, and are a trusted and sought after brand. Both of these machines are great options in the 3500 running watts category. The reason to get the Champion over the DuroMax is it has longer runtime. It can go for 3-4 hours longer than the DuroMax off the same amount of fuel.
Best 4000 Watt Conventional Portable Generator
- See full specs here…
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- DuroMax product page
- Champion product page
- WEN product page
- Power consumption of typical household appliances.